Scott Laun: Finding something that clicks

It’s Memphis, January, 1954. Sun Records owner Sam Phillips is intrigued. He sees potential in a teenage truck driver who wants to be a singer but after two initial tests is unimpressed.

The next summer Phillips gives the 19-year-old another chance. At Sun studios, he pairs the youngster with some local professionals, hoping something clicks. It doesn’t. The kid is too polite, the voice shy, searching.

Later on, during a break in another disappointing session, the aspiring singer decides to let loose and have some fun, to be himself. He strums out a fast version of the Delta blues song “That’s All Right” on his guitar and belts out the vocals.

When the fun’s over, Phillips in the next room realizes he’s finally heard the sound he was looking for. There’s a magic to it, a skin-tingling greatness. The teenager with the potential has transformed. He’s become Elvis Presley.

History shudders to think Sam Phillips would ever give up on a young Elvis Presley. Differentiate Group Co-founder Scott Laun understands the challenge businesses face in finding something that clicks with sales and customer service teams.

“A lot of companies like to say people are their greatest asset,” Scott says. “I like to say the untapped potential of people is their greatest asset. Unfortunately, a lot of that potential sits on the sidelines. But that’s why Differentiate Group exists: we help our clients leverage that untapped potential and turn it into everyday greatness.”

Scott and lifelong friend Mark Norman founded Differentiate Group in 2011, following successful careers at Dale Carnegie Training. At Dale Carnegie, the two owned and operated award-winning franchises in three states and established a reputation for proven results and strong outcomes for sales and customer service team and business leaders.

Many businesses struggle with optimizing sales and customer service talent to deliver a superior customer experience. Maybe they tried before and failed. Maybe they didn’t try at all. Maybe they don’t even know where to start.

“Chances are they tried programmatic teaching and attendees forgot 90 percent of what they learned within 30-60 days,” Scott says. “Forgetting is normal. It’s human. We don’t point the finger at attendees. We point it at the lecture-and-leave trainers. It’s like they’re coin-operated.”

With Differentiate Group, Scott and Mark decided they didn’t want to teach out of a manual.  “We’re different from the cookie-cutter methods,” Scott says. “We have a proven skills-transfer process tailored to the needs of each client. We learn their business, we agree on a plan, we drill participants on best practices, then we sit down with them and practice, practice, practice. Then we come back and do it some more. If you golf, you know there are many great driving range golfers. Our method takes it to the course.”

Scott’s expertise is well-recognized after leading hundreds of sessions. Many attendees have called him the best they’ve seen. Perhaps the best compliment came from a client who said Scott was so well-versed and immersed in the client’s business that new sales hires thought Scott was a fellow staffer.

Still another appreciated that the mysteries of being a successful salesperson were finally revealed to her. “Scott is a dynamic presenter who is both engaging and well-informed,” she said. “He offers a wealth of experience and practical application with a touch of humor and a heap of kick-in-the-pants motivation.”

And lastly, one client pointed out Scott’s ability – perhaps like Sam Phillips with Elvis – to see potential and not give up on it, to find something that clicks. “In the years I have worked with Scott, I have seen his skills truly transform an organization from good to great.”